Students learn about caring and sharing through discussion of the book Martin's Big Words. The lesson introduces the "big" word philanthropy (giving time, talent and treasure for the common good). The students discuss ways they have been philanthropic by voluntarily being nice to someone or being helpful.
one 30 minute class period
The learner will:
Tell the students that in the book Martin’s Big Words, they learned how one person can make a difference. Give examples of the time, talent, or treasure from the examples the students shared during the class discussion. Have students share one act of service they will do in the next week (helping a neighbor with yard work, giving old clothes away, helping the family clean the house).
Have the students brainstorm possible acts of service they can do without permission this week. Through hearing the variety of things their classmates choose this week, they learn that no one is too small to make a difference.
Say the words stegosaurus, conservation, segregation, and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Tell the children that these are really big words and fun to say. Ask them to repeat the words after you. Ask the students if they know any other really big words. Have the class repeat the words suggested by the students. Explain to the students that some words are "big" words because they are very long and sometimes hard to pronounce, but at other times, words may be called "big" because they are about big, important ideas. Today they will be hearing a book called Martin’s Big Words, about the life of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. They will decide if Martin's words are called "big" because they are long words, or because they are about important ideas, or both.
Social Studies: On a classroom display map, mark with a sticky note where Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up and where events in the book took place.
Language Arts: Write a Class Poem: Write an acrostic poem as a class using the word KINDNESS. Write the letters in kindness vertically on the board. Ask the students to brainstorm words that start with each letter in the word. Encourage them to think of words related to today’s reading as well as their personal feelings and experiences.
Math: Make a chart or graph to list and count the acts of service completed by the students this week.
Extend the lesson with a visioning activity that encourages children to think about what issues are part of their dreams for a better world. Cut out large cloud shapes for each student from light blue paper (9” x 12”). Have each student draw on their cloud a picture or symbols showing what they would like the world to look like in ten years. Help them focus on an area by asking what one world problem they would like to fix and make perfect (well-fed children, school for everyone, healthy planet, no more illness). When they are done drawing, students tell the class about their vision. They start by saying, “In ten years I would like to see . . .” Display all the cloud drawings on a bulletin board. Use the drawings as pre-reflection to help design a service project related to student interests.
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